On Christmas Eve, Year 2



Yesterday, in the midst of Christmas busyness and finishing up school work, I volunteered to help Lara move: meet her at her old apartment, load up our cars, schlep stuff over to the new place. But she was late, and there were a few “found” moments to just sit still, so I did. Sat there in my car on that cold city street, watching.

Nearby, two women got out of a car, walked toward the building. The wind buffeted their coats. They were well-dressed, talking, smiling. Both had white hair. The taller woman leaned forward, held her companion’s arm, wrapped herself around the shorter, older woman to shield her from the gusts. Her hair was cut in a stylish bob that flipped into her face, but I could see her smile, their smiles. Feel the love between them. They were so happy to be with each other. They were beautiful. I almost pulled out my camera to take a picture of them, but they slipped inside the building and were gone.

They reminded me of you, of us, of how sweet and good it felt, all those years, to wrap myself around you, to hold on so you wouldn’t slip — oh, that happy privilege.

The women came out again, moved toward their car. The taller woman glanced up at me. Amazing how much she looked like you — her narrow nose, the sparkle in her smile. Our eyes met. We both knew, in that flash of a glance, how lucky they were, to have and enjoy each other. Like we were lucky, too.

Love is contagious, and enough. These strangers, hanging onto one another, remind me.

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